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Trump: US military will 'not accept' transgender people

شعار Al Jazeera Al Jazeera 26/07/2017

US President Donald Trump has said transgender individuals will not be allowed to serve in the military in "any capacity".

Wednesday's announcement reverses a decision by Trump's predecessor Barack Obama to allow trans people to openly serve in the armed forces.

In a  series of tweets Trump said that "after consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military".

He said the US "military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail".

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Last year, the Obama administration  reversed the ban  on transgender service members, giving the Pentagon one year to determine how to implement parts of the policy.

Earlier this month, James Mattis, US defence secretary, announced a six-month delay in the recruitment of transgender people.

At the time, Mattis said that the delay "in no way presupposes an outcome", but he had determined that more time was needed to make a decision based on conversations with generals and other senior defence officials.

'Egregious attack'

The National Centre for Transgender Equality called Trump's announcement an "egregious attack" on the the 15,000 transgender people currently serving in the US military.

"This is the worse than don't ask don't tell, this is don't serve, don't serve," Mara Keisling, director of the National Centre for Transgender Equality, said in a statement.

"This is an appalling attack on our service members; it is about bigotry rather than military readiness, reason or science. It is indefensible and cannot stand."

Others online were also quick to criticise Trump's announcement, calling it "evil" and horrid".

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